CLEVELAND (KRON) — Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty announced Monday morning that a grand jury has declined to bring charges against the Cleveland officers involved in the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.
Rice was shot after police received a report of a man pointing and waving a gun outside a recreation center in Nov. 22, 2014.
Timothy Loehmann, a rookie officer, told investigators he repeatedly ordered the boy to “show me your hands” then saw him pulling a weapon from his waistband before opening fire.
It turned out Tamir was carrying an airsoft gun that shoots plastic pellets when Loehmann shot him outside the rec center. Tamir died the next day.
McGinty said his office recommended to grand jurors that the police officers should not be charged in Rice’s death.
“We too want justice for Tamir,” he said. But it would not be justice to bring charges against the officers involved in the shooting if those charges “could not be sustained.”
That, however, “doesn’t mean the legal system is done,” he said. The civil courts may provide some accountability to the boy’s family “that they deserve,” McGinty said.
Rice, who was 5-foot, 7-inches and 195 pounds, did not appear to look like a juvenile, and Rice’s gun had its orange safety tip removed, prosecutors said.
The shooting of a child should “never happen again,” McGinty said, and he urged that toy gun manufacturers stop making their products look so much like real guns.
According to prosecutors, police received a credible report when they received the 911 call describing a man brandishing a gun, and the officers were justified in the shooting.
The witness at the recreation center who called 911 also told dispath that the weapon was “probably” fake.
Information that the gun the caller saw was probably not real and that the person holding it appeared to be a juvenile was not conveyed to Officers Loehmann and Frank Garmback, according to recordings that law enforcement released.
Previous reports concluded that Loehmann shot Tamir within 2 seconds of opening his car door. The new analysis determined it happened even faster, within less than a second, according to the review by California-based shooting reconstruction expert Jesse Wobrock.
Video of the incident shows a patrol car pull up on the snowy grass near a gazebo where Tamir is standing. Within seconds of arriving on the scene, Loehmann shoots the boy.
Officers called dispatch to request emergency medical services and described Rice, who was wearing an extra large jacket and size 12 shoes, as a male in his 20s.
Prosecutors also showed slides taken from surveillance footage showing the boy pointing his gun at several people outside the recreation center. One slide shows Rice aiming at someone’s head.
Kimberly Crawford, a 20-year veteran of the FBI and a former instructor at the agency’s academy, has previously said that when the officers approached Tamir they were responding to a report of a male suspect with a gun he kept pulling from his pants.
“The after-acquired information — that the individual was 12 years old, and the weapon in question was an ‘airsoft gun’– is not relevant to a constitutional review of Officer Loehmann’s actions,” she writes in one of the other reports posted Saturday.
CNN and Associated Press contributed to this report.